I don’t usually share this kind of stuff on tumblr, but this is a project that I do feel is worthwhile. PhyloPic is a project to provide free-use silhouettes of organisms of all kinds, and it’s an excellent resource that I’ve used many times.
The project has already found a great deal of internet success; I can personally attest to seeing images from PhyloPic often in scientific papers. And it’s not just on a species-by-species basis – the project also arranges organisms by taxonomy. This means you can search practically any taxon and see its full illustrated evolutionary history, down to the first DNA – or add multiple taxa, and compare their evolutionary histories, seeing when they last diverged.
Play around with it for a while – it’s a great educational tool in addition to a great bank of images! But after playing around with it, you’ll notice that it’s pretty slow. This is a passion project of Mike Keesey, well-known Internet Dinosaur Person™, and it needs work to re-engineer it to make it faster and more functional. This update will also add new search functions, including sorting by license, an improved taxonomic search, and allowing users to “save” silhouettes for later use.
PhyloPic is currently running an IndieGoGo campaign to try and raise money to make these improvements. There’s five days left in their campaign, and they’re over halfway to their goal! If just half of my followers gave a dollar, the project would be fully funded. I think it’s a worthwhile project, and it’s one that I’d like to see succeed.
Boosting! This is definitely the type of thing I use all the time in outreach efforts when I don’t have my own photo (and I don’t like stealing images from other people!).
December 16, 2018